Chabon withholds any strong sociological claims about Oakland, but his novel evokes the city’s real racial folkways, the oddly winning blend of prickliness and sociability…
Matt Feeney on What Michael Chabon’s “Telegraph Avenue” gets right about Oakland: http://nyr.kr/QbHttB
Photograph by Ulf Andersen/Getty.
I used to love Chabon, but ever since he wrote that book of divorce stories, I could give a fuck. The book of divorce stories is like the thing that kills any writer for me. All divorce is the same, even when it’s not. I could never read another essay or story or novel about divorce, and I’d be super happy with that. See also: This is why I only read sci-fi anymore. Sci-fi is divorce-story-free.
I loved Kavalier and Clay, although I have never re-read it. All of his other books fell flat for me. I officially gave up after Yiddish Policemen’s Union but The Final Solution was pretty bad. I’m pretty sure that was one of the 10 books in my entire life that I abandoned reading halfway through.